Penny Black: the World’s First Postage Stamp

Penny Black

The Penny Black – World’s First Postage Stamp

By Scott Bailey

In the 1830’s, mail in the United Kingdom of England and Ireland was paid for by the recipient of the mail. The amount charged for postal delivery was based upon the weight of the item as well as how far it had to travel. Most of the working population could not afford to receive mail from a distance and many just would not accept the delivery. With the proliferation of railways throughout the United Kingdom to support the growing factories during the Industrial Revolution, businesses and government realized that the debt-ridden postal system needed to be reformed.

In 1837 a schoolteacher named Rowland Hill proposed a prepayment system utilizing one cent stamps on postage. in 1839, the British Treasury announced a competition to design the first stamp. Penny BlackNone of the submissions were considered acceptable and a portrait of Queen Victoria was chosen instead. The Penny Black was this first, adhesive, postage stamp. The Penny Black has a simple black background with a profile of Queen Victoria in the center, the words “POSTAGE” and “ONE PENNY” along the top and bottom, respectively. The Penny Black was used for just over one year. The postage cancellation mark was in red ink, which was hard to see on the black stamp and also was easy to remove.

The Penny Red replaced the Penny Black in 1841 (utilizing black ink cancellation marks). Since over 68 million Penny Blacks were printed, many have survived and it is not a particularly rare stamp. As with all stamps, however, condition and whether or not it was ever used, determine a stamp’s value on the collectors’ market. A used Penny Black in poor condition can be found for under 10 Pounds (or 20 Dollars), sometimes significantly less. Just remember that whatever the quality of that Penny Black you own, you are holding an important piece of history that is much more that just another postage stamp.

Whether a beginner looking to start a collection, or a seasoned veteran looking to add a Penny Black to your collection, visit www.UKStampsAuctions.com for a wide variety of stamps of the United Kingdom.

Article Source: The Penny Black – World’s First Postage Stamp


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GB 1840 - 1D BLACK, PL4, 4 MARGINS, LETTERS RC WITH RED MALT CROSS CANX (SG2)
£0.99 (1 Bid)
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GB Q.V. PENNY BLACK 1840 RED MX 3 MARGINS RD
£3.29 (3 Bids)
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1840 1D BLACK 4 GOOD MARGINS LIGHT RED MX PLATE 1B?
£125.00
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Penny Black stamp on cover, 1840 1d, St Leonards-on-Sea, missing left corner.
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Westminster Collection Ltd The 1840 Penny Black Stamp with Certificate of Authen
£39.00 (5 Bids)
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1840 penny black In Box
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SG 2 1d Penny Black Used
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ONE PENNY BLACK PLATE 5 "BB" WITH RED MALTESE CROSS & 4 LARGE TO HUGE MARGINS
£56.00 (13 Bids)
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SUPERB ONE PENNY BLACK PLATE 1b "EI" FOUR MARGINS ~ NEAR FULL DARK RED MALTESE X
£24.00 (5 Bids)
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ONE PENNY GREY BLACK WORN PLATE 1a "HD" RE-ENTRY 4 MARGINS ~ RED MALTESE CROSS
£2.20 (3 Bids)
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GB QV 1840 1d Penny Black
£40.00 (1 Bid)
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GB QV 1840 1d Penny Black
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GB QV 1d black 3/4 margins unplated lettered RG Red Maltese cross
£9.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 15:44:58 BST
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GB QV Penny Black D-L Red MX used stamp (No1130)*
£39.99 (0 Bids)
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Stamp Collector's First Page 1840 Penny Black, Two Pence Blue - no lines Scott 2
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1840 Plate 10 Penny Black B.J. in small GB collection
£24.50 (3 Bids)
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